Teresa, thanks a lot for your postings around the third encyclical. which I still have to tackle in toto, I have to admit. Just the mention of the word "economy" is enough to make me rush for a cup of coffee or a glass of white wine - I have zero interest in this subject. It is way above my intellectual capacities to begin with. However, I have read the introduction and I suppose that is a beginning......
About the word/term "charity" (English) I agree with you: it does not seem to be the right choice for an encyclical of such wide dimensions as this one. "Liebe" expresses much more, both "horizontally" and "vertically" so to speak. For some reason I am irritated every single time I see the title in English. Which is of course also a silly reaction; I should start reading the encyclical in stead of the discussions around it!
Oh, how I sympathize, dear Crotchet: If CIV had been written by anyone else except Benedict XVI, I probably would not have bothered reading it at all! I find economics more arcane than quantum physics, and I would not hesitate to read a layman's account of string theory before I could even think of reading the new economists. It was difficult enough coping with the fundamentals of Malthus, Adam Smith, and Keynes, thank you, just enough to at least have an idea what they stood for.
I must confess I have read CIV in full in English only once so far, and since then, the German, But every time I find a commentary I think worth posting, I do go to the sections they cite to read them over first (in the English translation).
I have read the Introduction, Chapter 1 and the Conclusion a number of times now, because that's pure Ratzinger - the theological, philosophical and historical bedrock of the encyclical; Chapter 2 because it lays the material groundwork for the discussions in Chaptere 3-6; and Chapter 6 on development and technology, which reads very Ratzingerian. I promise to tackle Chapters 3, 4 and 5 one chapter at a time. One thing sure, it's a reading challenge I did not feel with the first two encyclicals, particularly Spe salvi, which is pure unalloyed Ratzinger/Benedict.
Glad you agree about the inappropriateness - or awkwardness at the very least - of translating caritas as 'charity'! Translation has everything to do with finding the right sense intended in the original word or statement, and that only requires some common sense (besides familiarity with the context or the subject matter, of course).
[Edited by TERESA BENEDETTA 7/22/2009 12:02 AM]